Niantic will launch Pokémon GO in China, following a partnership deal with the local gaming and technology company NetEase. NetEase is also one of the largest investors in Nianitc’s recent $200m Series B funding round.
No release date has yet been announced.
NetEase is an old Chinese Internet provider, founded in 1997, and has risen to become one of the largest video games companies in the world. NetEase is now a partner and an investor in Niantic Labs, Inc.
John Hanke, Niantic’s CEO, had an interview with the Financial Times and shared a few statements on the matter:
“We absolutely intend to bring our existing games into China. Beyond that, there are opportunities to build games in China, both for China and for the world.”
Niantic has recently closed a successful round of investment, closing a $200 million Series B funding round led by Spark Capital and including Founders Fund, Meritech, Javelin, You & Mr. Jones and NetEase as additional investors.
As Hanke put it, the company was already profitable and growing its cash reserves before the funding round, but the “extra financing gives them the ability to invest in its technology platform and make acquisitions”.
Hanke also touched on the subject of problematic PokéStops and Gyms:
“In terms of dealing with public locations, government policy, regulations and public reaction to people being out in the real world, we have built up our expertise there”
Again, there is no release date for the Chinese version of Pokémon GO, but we expect it to be in the first half of 2018.
Speaking about release dates, Wizards Unite has been confirmed for the second half of 2018, likely September, so stay tuned for that on our second Hub website: Wizards Unite Hub.